The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Energy Independence and Security Act Tuesday and the National Corn Growers Association termed the passage “a major step toward energy independence.” A renewable fuels standard, of which 15 billion gallons comes from corn, creates a solid foundation for grain-derived ethanol to continue to flourish, according to NCGA.

The measure includes a 36-billion gallon RFS by 2022 and still requires approval by President Bush.

“We are ecstatic that a robust energy bill is finally within reach,” said NCGA President Ron Litterer. NCGA hopes the president will sign the bill by Christmas.

Corn growers nationwide have been vocal in advocating for an energy bill.  “The National Corn Growers Association put out a national call to its members to contact their congressional leadership and they responded in a big way,” Litterer said. Their diligence has truly paid off.”

Other provisions in the bill include:
•           Requirement of 9 billion gallons of renewable fuels in 2008, progressively increasing to the 36 billion-gallon requirement by 2022, including a 1 billion-gallon mandate for biodiesel;
•           Increases in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020, the first congressional increase in 32 years;
•           Studies on the feasibility of ethanol pipelines, higher blend levels and the optimization of flex fuel vehicles.

Source: NCGA